aj, if you had written this post prior to your last one, I would have written a much different post than I did. I agree with most everything you said in this last post.You are right about what makes a great breeder. There are lots of cattle multipliers, but there are far less cattle breeders. I consider a cattle breeder a person who has a distinct goal in where he would like his/her breeding prodgram to go... and follows a breeding program to achieve this goal. I can think of many operations that I think of as breeders. In the Shorthorn breed, I think of people like Art and Luke Bakenhus, the late Dr. Eugene Byers, Dale Rocker, as breeders.There are many, many others, some of which are major league players and some who are smaller breeders. I also would call Don Cagwin a breeder, as he has oftentimes used bloodlines that others would have overlooked. At the same time, he is not afraid to use the popular bloodlines when he finds an animal he thinks will work in his program. I have probably travelled a few thousand miles with Don Cagwin, and have attended many of his sales, and he is one of the smartest cattlemen I have run into.
As far as people coming into a breed and leaving in a few years, we all have to remember a few things. Each and every person who starts in a certain breed has his/her own set of goals.Some only want to chase a few ribbons and a little glory. Some could care less about ever selling a high dollar animal, but are extremely happy when they sell all their bulls to commercial men. There is a place for each and every person, and we need them all. Some leave sooner than they planned because of life situations that change, some stay longer than originally planned. As a breeder I think we should be thankful for everyone who choses to raise the same breed as you do.